Fans sat in comfy, red seats – their eyes glued to the screen. No, they were not watching a movie, but a live Barclays Premier League (BPL) game at the Yio Chu Kang Community Club (CC) – in fact, the Hull City vs. Chelsea game.
Tonight, an early BPL game was screened at a selected CC – and there will be more, from now on.
This is supposed to provide BPL fans with another avenue to get their weekly football fix – at a venue much closer to home.
But what do fans themselves think of these free live football screenings at CCs?
Another Option to Cater to Football Fix
Most felt that that these BPL match screenings give fans another option to quell their football addiction.
As Chelsea fan Tan Chow Meng, 28, a Senior Lab Technician says, “It’s certainly great news for the CCs to broadcast BPL games because people who can’t afford to subscribe to football channels can finally watch live matches.”
Added Hoe Zong Huan, 29, a self-employed Chelsea fan, “Residents who are staying nearby will have the opportunity to watch BPL live, especially if the matches are showing at very late hours close to their homes.”
Manchester United fan Ong Hong Jie, 26, an executive, thought this would provide a new experience. He said, “It’s a great bonding experience, showing the BPL matches in the heartlands – definitely a new experience besides watching it from pubs.”
Part-time banquet server and Arsenal fan Davis Yin, 23, has watched matches at such a community setting before and based on his experiences, he says, “During the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, I watched the matches at the Yishun SAFRA club. I really enjoyed watching games there, with other enthusiastic soccer fans.”
So in this regard, the screenings by the CCs are a great idea in Davis’s opinion because “they are bringing some camaraderie back to watching soccer.”
The Atmosphere Is Not There
But Davis isn’t likely to go to the CCs to catch his weekly dose of opium though because he feels that the atmosphere isn’t quite there. He said, “I often go to bars and pubs to watch matches. The atmosphere is livelier at these kind of places.”
He added, in jest, “There, I can be served by pretty beer brand ambassadors too!”
Others prefer more familiar surroundings. As Liverpool fan and IT project manager David Wong, 44 says, “, I prefer to catch my football games in the comfort of my home or with friends at supporters’ clubs.”
Chow Meng thinks likewise too. He said, “I would prefer to head down to Harry’s Bar at the Esplanade because that’s where Chelsea football supporters normally gather.”
But some fans are receptive about watching BPL games at CCs. As 34-year-old Justin Yu, a self-employed Arsenal fan says, “Yes, if I do not have the football channel at home and there are matches on, I would love to watch them at the CCs.”
However, he adds that if the “location is too far or inconvenient, then it will be a hassle to travel there.”
Zong Huan agrees too, saying that he “would go watch these matches at the CC only if it is close to my home.”
Humid Weather A Disadvantage
One of the disadvantages though, of catching games at the CCs is the humid weather in Singapore, according to Hong Jie. He says, “The cons of going to the CCs would be the hot and stifling weather. Imagine a crowd of 300 at every CC!”
No Food Available
Some will not be watching BPL games at CCs though because they would not be able to buy food to eat. A 42-year-old entrepreneur Darren Chin, a Manchester United fan and a food lover, said, “The CCs have no food and drinks available, so I won’t be catching my games there.”
For further details on which CCs the BPL screenings will be at, go to http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/community-clubs-screen-epl-matches-20140110
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